Street Vendors Caught Selling Fake Gold

Action 4 News received a quick lesson in how to spot fake gold thanks to La Feria Police Chief Don Garcia.

"If it's real gold, this scraping will stay, if it's not real gold, it will disappear," he explained, holding a black slate he had scraped with so-called gold merchandise recently seized from two men.

Garcia then poured acid on the scraping and within seconds, the scraping disappeared.

The police chief said a huge batch of necklaces, chains, bracelets and rings was all fake gold and actually just shiny copper.

Police said Facundo Alvarado Rodriguez and Cesar Lopez Mondragon were parked next to El Centro Food Market Wednesday with the jewelry and preying on shoppers.

"They were selling it as real gold off the streets at the parking lot and catching people going into the grocery store."

The men were successful with their scheme for about 20 minutes. During that time, investigators said the men made about a thousand dollars.

Then, an anonymous tip resulted in their arrests.

"I just don't like to buy off the vendors because you don't know if they are honest or not," said Rio Grande Valley resident Maureen Hargis.

Rodriguez and Mondragon were charged with Criminal Simulation.

La Feria police believe the two men duped several people and the department is now asking possible victims to come forward.